This weekend, fall is officially here. That’s why late September is a great time to freshen the containers and flower beds with brilliant color that says, “Fall has arrived.”
Plus, recent rains have waterlogged many containers. If that didn’t set your petunias and other annuals back, the first frost just around the corner will take them out for good.
The value in many of the traditional plants that we use for fall color is that they go far into autumn and early winter — and many will come back next spring. You will see them again as early as late March and April. That’s great ongoing value for the effort we take now to create seasonal interest for our patio pots and bed areas.
The following are good flowers for fall color:
Pansies —These popular flowers can be found in a variety of bright colors, such as pink or purple, or fall colors, from the Halloween mix of orange and black, to the autumn golds and yellows. Blooms may be nipped by early frost, but on warmer days — and if grown in protected areas — you can see blooms well into the fall.
Violas — Violas are super-hardy flowers that come in variegated or solid-color blooms. They, too, are cold hardy, and they will come back in the spring.
Dianthus — This beautiful bloomer has soft, pretty flowers and will also return next spring.
Snapdragons — These showy flowers come in a wide variety of colors, and you will see them return in the spring, too.
Ornamental kale — Use the ornamental variety of the veggie for its foliage interest and as a mounding plant in containers. It is very cold hardy.
Mums – This garden favorite is the traditional fall standard, but it is not as cold hardy as the other plants on the list. Mums won’t survive overly cold weather and will need frost protection to prolong their bloom time. Mums add great interest to fall containers because of the many colors and also the many sizes that are available.
Plant flowers for the home team
The Bronco mix of orange, blue and white pansies will show your team spirit. Plant them in a porch container and drop in the team banner on Bronco Sunday to show your support!
use perennials in fall planting
Fall is prime time to plant perennials so they have a head start on the next growing season. Perennials that we use in the fall may not be in bloom, but their value is in their texture and foliage, which adds contrasting interest alongside flowering plants. Look for sedums, grasses, primrose, agastache and rudbeckia. Another plus is that you may find them at good prices at the local garden center.
Happy fall planting!
Becky Garber is a member of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, of which Neils Lunceford, a landscaping company, is a member. You may contact them at 970-468-0340.